‘Black Beauty’ Lily

'Black Beauty' Lily

'Black Beauty' Lily © 2010 Bo Mackison

I’ve had a visit to the nearby West Madison Test Gardens, a huge experimental garden plot associated with the University of Wisconsin and staffed by numerous volunteers, on my to-go list for months. It’s only a few miles from my home, but it’s in an out of the way location, and it usually is off my radar when I’m contemplating which garden to visit. Yesterday evening, we dallied over pre-dinner snacks and wine. By the time I decided to go shoot, the evening light was disappearing fast. Then I remembered the nearby Test Gardens. Oh my! I am so happy to have re-established my acquaintance with these bountiful gardens.

There were flowers and veggies everywhere, all carefully tended, all labeled to make identification a pleasure. Since some of the varieties are undergoing tests to determine their viability in the Wisconsin clime, not all the plants are available, but ‘Black Beauty’ is an old standard in the lily family, and a popular one, too.  I have a hunch you will be seeing many more flowers from the Test Gardens on Seeded Earth.

The lilies were blooming everywhere. This ‘Black Beauty’ lily was at the entrance, only a few steps from the parking lot, and I loved shooting this deep purple beauty. One of the Oriental Lily hybrids, ‘Black Beauty’ can have as many as 40 flowers on a single stem. The blooms are dark wine red, with a green star mark in the center.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Gorgeous!

  2. Now, that is a lily! I haven’t seen this variety, Black Beauty, before. Beautiful lily and great perspective shot, Bo.

  3. Gandalf says:

    Beautiful flower!!

  4. I haven’t seen a Black Beauty lily before. It’s beautiful.

    Looking forward to what else you found while visiting the Test Gardens.

  5. Love the rich color of this spectacular lily.

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